Monday, May 29, 2006
難怪去年秋天剛回到學校時，人人一見到我第一句話往往是："Wow, you look really good. Different. Relaxed and well rested."
在iPhoto中看著過去一年照過的相片，猛然發現友誼才是重點。Again，必須從暑假的照片看起。在center的陽台上隔港看煙火的景象、去鐮倉的那個酷熱天、在山下公園附近外國人豪宅區漫遊的下午、居酒屋內喝醉了的日文老師突爆的感情史、畢業式上以「この夏、暑かった！」一詞舉杯慶祝的青木先生、每天第一堂課非一罐爽健美茶或Georgia Coffee不能清醒的我們、中午坐在大窗邊以生硬日文交談卻又不知為何都能理解對方奇怪語調的便當族。再來是在不知為何而蓋的CGIS大樓內舉行的RIJS酒會、花了一天一夜布置準備的house warming party、去MFA看展覽與Sonie喝酒過生日的十一月天、第一次試烤就成功的感恩節香檳火雞、去紐約敗家吃韓國烤肉看櫥窗設計在中央公園嘗試有始以來第二次滑冰經驗的聖誕佳節、吃oden看倒數又到河邊比賽誰踩的雪印較深的新年夜。在Widener、Lamont以及家裡廚房與心愛的Power Book過完2006年的第一個月（因照片的不存在而被加入這個清單中）、MFA First Friday的熱舞上班族、為好朋友餞行的卡拉OK之夜、水族館中胖嘟嘟的企鵝與因燈光打照而顯的色彩迷爛的水母、Fenway的熱狗啤酒花生殼與觀眾席中的海灘球賽、桃花櫻花鬱金香與不知名花盛開的Boston Common、至最後，又一個在Widener、Yenching以及家裡廚房與心愛的Power Book努力生產報告的五月最後三星期（亦因照片的從缺而點名入單）。
梅ちゃん at 4:11:00 PM
Friday, May 26, 2006
"Live every day knowing that someone will write my eulogy tomorrow."
That faith is more important than fact.
That my church can be more empowering than a boardroom.
This is what I wish to prove with my one precious life."
"I want to dispel the belief that "every man is an island" because I refuse to live bound by the ignorance that isolation brings.
I want to embrace the freedom to explore the world to no end. Traveling to nontraditional places; absorbing more than tourist highlights; collecting hundreds of pictures capturing colorful dimensions of life - while refusing to delete the "non-perfect" shots from my digital camera."
"I envisioned Harvard Business School as confirmation, a badge of success. Instead, these two years sparked an ironic realization: I want to stop seeking success as others define it, and instead navigate my own waters.
Going forward, I will determine for myself what living a successful life means.
Success will not be the number of dollars I make, but the number of my children's sporting teams I coach.
Success will not be the size of my network, but the liveliness of food, wine and laughter shared with loved ones.
Success will not be judged by my title or resume, but by the spontaneity of my family's weekend adventures.
Success will not be the prestige of my employer, but the enthusiasm and passion I bring to my work.
When my one wild ride concludes, I will look within to assess the successfulness of my life. I will look in the mirror to determine whether I am happy with what I see. I will revisit this Portrait to discern whether the path I have journeyed has been my own."
Above quotes - taken from the sharing of a number of HBS 05 graduates. Their answers to the question embedded in the last 2 lines of the following poem:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
梅ちゃん at 4:48:00 AM
Monday, May 22, 2006
極限Give me 30 hours and turn my body into a robot machine that needs neither sleep nor rest, then I'll finish this paper.
I mean it.
But I'm not a robot, and the body has reached its limit. The brain is nothing but a hodgepodge of floaters - ideas, discourses, theories, commentaries. No more sense of reality, nor sense of illusion.
Cannot think, cannot write, cannot process anymore, 卻也睡不著。飄浮在現實與虛幻之間，無所適從。
梅ちゃん at 4:33:00 PM
Sunday, May 21, 2006
古都・古記憶為了寫報告，將川端康成的＜古都＞又細細地念了一遍。第一次念正是大三在京都求學的春天。春暖花開、櫻花四放，滿城都是從全國各地蜂湧而來的賞櫻客，盛況更勝秋天之賞楓。那時每一天醒來都覺得生命從未如此美好，連早上踏出 host family 家，在樓下的ＯＫ便利商店選購當天中午用的便當與速食味璔湯都覺得幸福不已。
台北是家，但我的足跡在京都八個月踏遍過的地方恐怕遠比在台北十五年去過的地方還多。We never give enough justice to our hometown or love it the way we're supposed to. 只有當家鄉成為過去名詞時我們才發現，原來家已被蒙上了淡淡的愁。
為何櫻花唯有京都的最美？春天在Cambridge匆匆而過。兩年了，我為那少樹幾株在 Harvard Yard 中幾未有任何人關心的粉櫻惋惜。
還是寫 paper 吧。
梅ちゃん at 6:18:00 AM
Saturday, May 20, 2006
其實就說出來又如何呢？人生並不是永遠都要光鮮亮麗，got everything figured out。"If you're here tonight pretending to be the happy, cheerful, worry-less May-yi, to put on the fake smile and say, 'I'm doing well, thank you!", then you are not treating me as a friend. Those sentences are reserved for language textbook instruction. not for real life. So be real and share your mind with me," a friend once said that to me.
梅ちゃん at 1:29:00 PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
BlockMajor mental and writing block ... Can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
梅ちゃん at 6:32:00 AM
Saturday, May 13, 2006
11年ぶりI always thought that as time goes by, only women's attractiveness goes down the drain as age increases the number of wrinkles on the face or the weight of the body. Little did I realize that men's attractiveness also faces a certain immediate threats as the years go by.
Meeting a bunch of TAS '95 graduates, for the first time I had a slight taste of what it must have been like for mom and dad to sit around all these years with their college/HS friends lamenting the bygone youth. I never understood why in the world parents spent SO MUCH TIME exchanging information on the best doctors in town, the recently released vitamins in the store, or a new developed technology that helps minimize the black rings right below the eyes. Tonight, though, I sat through a conversation that covered from what real estate properties are the best for investment in town to which brand of bald-head prevention treatment is the most effective.
The latter topic, esp., went on for a good 20 mins. 20 mins, yes. No exaggeration. 20 mins.
Some people say that if you somehow lost touch with your high school sweethearts or childhood sweeties, it's best never to track them down. The sight of someone, for whom you used to have butterfly feelings deep in the stomach, turning into a 180-pound walking-beer-belly just isn't the most pleasant one to witness. So is the sight of the young beauty in memory turning into a mother of 4 kids who has consistently become the left-over food recycling bin at the dinner table a sight better to be avoided.
Though I still believe in the ultimate goodness of meeting old friends, yes, tonight I too came to realize that there's some truth in those sayings.
No no, I didn't meet my childhood sweetie or high school sweetheart. Just a bunch of friends from high school whom I haven't seen since 1995. Yes, 11 years have passed.
Granted that I'm 4 years younger than them and neither has the enough age nor wealth to start thinking about real estate investment or bald-head treatment (thank goodness I'll never need to deal with that), it was a bit shocking to see how we - in a collective way - indeed aren't the youngest in town to boast the greatest among of energy.
"I went back to TAS to visit. Only 3 teachers plus one counselor who used to be there in '95 are still teaching there. Gosh, I looked around and said to my friend - '這群小朋友們。他們兩個人的歲數加起來都沒有我的大'", one of them said.
Then followed by the most prolonged bitter-sweet laughter of the night.
At least I still have 4 more years to wander and waste before I need to REALLY start getting serious with life by indulging some of my non-study time on real estate investment or toiling my heart and mind about marriage possibility. 4 years at least. Though only God knows how fast those 4 years are going to pass by as well.
Time is the only thing we can never race against. The forever winner.
梅ちゃん at 10:27:00 AM
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
The Youth Gone byAfter some 2-day festive celebration of the end of the semester - as well as the end of my coursework process at grad school if not for the rest of my life - I'm here after 8 hours of sleep, contemplating about what to do next.
A ton of work awaiting me to start, staring at my face so hard that I can't flee from its presence. "Read me read me!" "Dissect me, deconstruct me!" "Digest me and learn from me and write about me!" ... I can just hear those 30+ number of books sitting in the corner calling out for my attention.
Not now please, not now. Give me another half an hour. Even if I'll have to pay for that later.
Oh gosh, it's finals time again.
And "oh gosh" x 2 - I have 5 papers to write.
I went to Fenway on Saturday. Red Sox vs. Orioles, 9-3, the Sox won. Granted that I've never been a diehard baseball fan or any type of sports fan by any means, I was more excited about the game than other times. F dragged me to City Sports to buy a $15 t-shirt that reads "Red Sox Girl (line 1)/Enough Said (line 2)" and had me put it on right there in the fitting room. I rolled my eyes for the 5th time by then, although I promised not to turn that $15 t-shirt into the new summer PJ.
Except that before we got off at Part St. for a transfer, I already spilled orange-apple juice on my brand new shirt. Later I also went home discovering a few more ketchup marks. Gosh, I thought I've long passed the infant stage.
It was a fun game, fun esp. for someone like me who's there more for the atmosphere and cultural learning experience than for the game itself. Although it really wasn't a bad game at all. The Sox scored 5 pts in 2nd inning alone and did well overall throughout the rest of the game. I think whoever decided to install the 7th-inning stretching tradition was ingenious. B/c by the 7th inning I indeed was getting progressively bored after the scored had remained stagnant for 3 innings in a roll. Although it was also cool to see how I wasn't alone in the process of thinking about what to do next - to take a nap on the plastic chair, to go out and get another slice of pizza, or to start making some catch-up phone calls on the cell - as some folks in the crowd decided to entertain themselves with a corporate beachball-bouncing contest, which eventually invited more unpleasant yelling and cussing even. All this testosterone in the air ... Who says that mankind has been civilized?
And why aren't there women's players on any of the baseball teams in the U.S. (or the world even)? And no women's World Series? I didn't even realize that the World Series is men-only in the first place. Although since the feminists have most definitely contested that area, I'm not gonna bother to go there.
Leaving Fenway at 10:20 pm, I found myself the minimal few who were in a rush to get home. Never realized that the biggest clubbing scene in Boston is right by the stadium, and I still don't know how those girls were able to endure the 45-degree evening chill with mini-skirts and spaghetti-strap tank tops on. So many people standing in line with so much drinking, smoking, flirting, and the eager anticipation for a long night of carnival and decadent partying. F and I pushed through the crowd, walked past the bars and cafes still packed with exhilarated night owls, and at last arrived at the quieter side of the Commonwealth Ave.
"Why didn't we stay and join the partying crowd for a drink?" I asked, having left the Fenway craze behind?
"I don't know," F shrugged. He's not even a clubbing type to begin with.
At that moment, I realized that I'm in such a different stage in life now. Though occasionally yearning for some fun and rigorous festivity, what fill my head most of the time are the books, the papers, the academic discourse, the debates/questions/issues unfinished, unanswered, unresolved. I need to go home 'cuz I'm cold and am dressed too conservatively for the clubbing boys and girls anyway. I need to go home 'cuz I wanna make sure I can catch the last bus home as I'm too poor to haul a cab. I need to go home 'cuz I need to send out that email written half-way b/c I need to be responsible. I need to go home 'cuz I still have stuff scheduled for the next day and some prep work is needed.
Seeing the #1 bus slowly pulling itself down Mass Ave from afar, F and I quickened our footsteps and jaywalked across the st., almost got majorly booed by a car full of college kids nearby. A few mins later, the #1 bus rushed past us, leaving us and a few other passengers standing in awe on the sidewalk.
Darn that bus driver, I wanted to yell. You think the bus was too full to pick up a few more passengers? You better never to visit China or any of the developing world.
"I hate Boston, F" I said at last. "With a passion." I don't care if this city has supported a World-Serious-winner baseball team that continues to feed on to its city residents' pride. If this city doesn't know how to transport the stadium-packed amount of people back home after the game is over, and if the city continues to run a transportation system that boasts for sporadic time schedules and token-machines that are "out of order" 24-7, this city ain't gonna win my love and pride.
So were my thoughts, shivering along with my cold body as F and I slowly walked towards Newbury St., banking on the hope that the next bus won't pass us by again.
梅ちゃん at 1:55:00 AM
Friday, May 05, 2006
Page Turn8:30 pm.
Walking out of the Mobility class last night after the grand finale presentation and saying goodbye to my fellow classmates, there was a sense of relief mixed with joy for the end of the semester as well as the closure of my entire coursework in grad school if not my whole life. Meanwhile, there too was a peculiar sense of new beginning looming in the air, as if a page has been turned.
Something is ending, something is beginning.
Despite the little early-morning fiasco with waking up late and arriving 15 min late at a breakfast meeting with professor talking about TF responsibilities, there too was a sense of new beginning. Maybe it was that fresh cup of coffee or the sun beaming through the window, or maybe it was the brief moment of sharing about past teaching experiences that drew back fond memories of interacting with enthusiastic students. Whatever it was, there too was a sense of beginning.
Sometimes we need these little page-turners or stage-markers to keep ourselves moving or to keep our heads clear about the goals in mind. Grateful for the beautiful weather and warm temperature that welcome the entering of a new stage.
Certainly, there's the pressure of 5 final papers hanging in the back of my mind, but the thought for a great summer ahead hopefully will continue to keep my spirit high till the finish line is reached.
F said the very first thing that he's going to do upon arriving in Japan is to go to a dentist's office. For me, probably just a past-rush-hour ride on 中央線 would make me happy enough. The scenery of the canals between Shinjuku and Tokyo station is dearly missed. So are the ramenya-san in Kichijyoji, the 100-yen shop scattered all across the city, and the massive movement of people across the 6-direction crossroads in front of Shibuya station seen from the window on the 2nd floor of the 井の頭線 platform.
Summer, hasten your footsteps! Or I'll just have to hasten my paper-writing process. Yeah, maybe the latter is more crucial.
梅ちゃん at 11:58:00 PM